Prosecutors investigate explosive placed in central Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Prosecutors in Poland’s capital questioned witnesses and gathered evidence Tuesday after a 31-year-old man allegedly placed what police have described as a projectile in a busy downtown area of Warsaw.

Investigators were awaiting an expert’s opinion on the type and potential range of the explosive, according to Aleksandra Skrzyniarz, a spokesperson for the prosecutors’ office in central Warsaw.

Skrzyniarz gave no other details of the object the man allegedly took out of a backpack Monday and placed on the pavement a few blocks from the presidential palace and near the city’s Old Town tourist area.

Over 300 people were participating in a commemorative march and rally for Polish victims massacred during World War II when the incident occurred.

Videos posted on YouTube of what appeared to be Monday’s incident show a man with a backpack approach speakers at a rally with an object in his hand that looks like a rusty artillery shell. He puts the object on the pavement, and the speakers call for security and police.

The man is brought to the ground, and officers at the scene tell people to back away from the object, which a police bomb squad later removed. The police said Monday it was a potentially powerful explosive.

Prosecutors plan to question the suspect Wednesday, Skrzyniarz told The Associated Press.

He could face up to eight years in prison on charges of endangering the lives and health of many people with a potential explosion. The police say he is known to them.

Police initially described the situation as “serious,” but there was no explosion and there were no reports of anyone being hurt.

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